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Design Apprenticeship: Designer/Frontend Engineer (accessibility focus)

|  Posted on:
October 21, 2020

Design Apprenticeship: Designer/Frontend Engineer (accessibility focus)

Design Apprenticeship: Designer/Frontend Engineer (accessibility focus)
Full Remote
50000 US Dollar - 100000 US Dollar
Bachelor or Master

Job Details

Nava is at the forefront of reimagining how our government serves its people, and we’re looking for experienced designers and developers to help drive this mission forward.

You care deeply about working on technology that improves people’s lives, but don’t think technology is always the answer. You are passionate about building large-scale systems that are inclusive, well-designed, fast, scalable, and secure, and you'll help set high standards for our teams in terms of simplicity, empathy, and accessibility.

One of our Nava values is Inclusion is Essential. We recognize that opportunities for designers are not always equal and we are committed to changing this. 

The apprenticeship is a full-time, 4-month program beginning on January 11, 2021, for people who are starting their careers, or transitioning to new careers in frontend design. Those who are currently underrepresented in tech (Women, Black/African American, Latin/Hispanic, American Indian, Veterans, those working with disabilities, those re-entering the workforce, etc.) are especially encouraged to apply. Bonus for candidates who have experience with accessibility best-practices and inclusive design.
We will provide the support that apprentices need to grow their careers in the civic tech space. Apprentices will be paired with a mentor and work on challenging and impactful projects.

Due to the pandemic, our internships are remote this year (last year, we required that apprentices join us in our DC, SF or NYC locations so that they received the support and structure that can be obtained in an office setting). To adapt, apprentices will be required to have strong familiarity with remote working practices and be comfortable in proactive communication with their managers and mentors when work is not clear, when they are stuck, or when they have early examples of work to share with their support team. Note that we rely on video conferencing and messaging applications (E.g. Slack) at Nava in order to stay connected remotely.

Opportunities and Challenges
Nava provides opportunities to do meaningful, impactful, mission-oriented work. As a public benefit corporation, we have a social mission written into our founding charter. The people who work at Nava have a fiduciary duty to our stated mission: to improve access, effectiveness, and simplicity of government services. We see this as an opportunity, but it is also important to highlight the challenges we face in advance.

You will be working within the government ecosystem, which means working dynamically, with other government contractors and civil servants. Working with people outside of your company means you'll likely encounter different working styles and cultural norms. At the same time, working as part of a larger team allows us to deliver on projects of larger scale and complexity.

The government also imposes a level of bureaucracy that is typically not present in a company of our size in the private sector. We operate in a regulated environment, where checks and compliance is built into the process of building software. This can make the path to production slower and some decisions, such as tools and processes, lie outside of our control. However, beyond writing code, finding and recommending ways to improve the way government software is built is one of the highest-leverage ways we help fulfill our mission. While our work is to build new systems with up-to-date technology, we have to do that within an existing ecosystem. Our work is building functional, resilient software for production. We don't build flashy prototypes that don't work for real people.
  • Collaborate with the product team, government stakeholders, and other contractors to build new systems and make improvements to existing systems
  • Audit websites to ensure they meet Level AA accessibility standards and collaborate with Designers, Content Strategists and Engineers to implement required changes
  • Help integrate accessibility testing into internal and client processes
  • Design and spec out major functionality and user flows
  • Drive ideas from concept to production, from sketching and wireframing to implementation and launching to production
  • Participate in planning and breaking down requirements into tasks
  • Review code and give feedback on technical specs
  • Make improvements by proposing new tools and practices
  • Ability to work remotely, including strong, proactive communication skills. You must be able to ensure productivity, share your blockers, and speak up when work needs clarification or when you are stuck
  • Comfort sharing work before it is complete, E.g. in sketch stages, so that mentors can provide feedback and support early in the process
  • 3-6 months experience (E.g. an internship) working on a multidisciplinary team environment, preferably designing and building medium or large-scale web applications
  • Strong understanding of web and mobile user interface design best practices
  • Some experience in JavaScript, CSS, and responsive design
  • Ability to design, build, and test semantic, accessible, Section 508 compliant web applications
  • Understanding of inclusive-design methodologies
  • Some experience with a modern JavaScript framework, such as React, Vue.js, Angular or Ember
  • Familiarity with a JavaScript testing framework such as Jest, Jasmine, or Mocha
  • Tenacity to dive into problems and iterate in working code
  • Equal parts systems thinker and advocate for users
  • Resourceful, reliable, and detail-oriented
  • With guidance, ability to think strategically around trade-offs and short term vs. long term benefits
  • An adaptive, empathetic, collaborative and positive mindset
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, technical and otherwise
  • Whether or not you have a design, computer science, or engineering degree
  • Whether or not you have GitHub contributions. (It's great if you do, but we don't expect it.)
  • Whether or not you have interned/worked at a well-recognized company
  • Residency: Lived in United States at least 3 years out of the last 5 years
  • Job Type